Why We Still Can’t Read the Writing of the Ancient Indus Civilization?

The ancient Indus civilization is regarded as one of the oldest and most advanced civilizations in the world. However, despite its significance, we still can’t read the writing of this civilization. The script of the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) remains a mystery to scholars and researchers.

The Indus Script

The Indus script is a collection of symbols that were used by the ancient Indus people to communicate. The script was written from right to left, and it comprised of approximately 400 symbols. These symbols were usually engraved on seals, tablets, pottery, and other objects.

The Mystery Behind The Indus Script

Despite numerous attempts by scholars and researchers all over the world, the script has remained undeciphered for almost a century. The reasons for this are many.

One of the primary reasons is that we have very little information about the ancient Indus people themselves. Unlike other ancient civilizations such as Egypt or Mesopotamia where we have extensive written records, we have no literature or historical accounts from the IVC.

Another reason is that there are very few examples of inscriptions written in this script. Most of what we know about it comes from small seals that were used by merchants to mark their goods.

Attempts At Deciphering The Script

Over time, many scholars have tried to decipher this mysterious script using various methods such as statistical analysis and comparative linguistics. However, none of these attempts have been successful so far.

One theory suggests that the language used in the script was not an Indo-European language but instead belonged to a Dravidian language family. This theory is supported by linguistic similarities between modern Dravidian languages such as Tamil and Telugu and some symbols found in the Indus script.

Another theory suggests that some of these symbols represent numerical values or units of measurements rather than actual words or letters.


In conclusion, the Indus script remains a mystery to this day. Despite numerous attempts, we still cannot read the writing of this ancient civilization. However, ongoing research and new discoveries may provide us with the key to unlock this ancient script and uncover more about the remarkable civilization that created it.

  • Some symbols in the script represent animals such as elephants and tigers
  • The Indus Valley Civilization existed from approximately 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE
  • The IVC was located in what is now Pakistan and northwest India